Tuesday, January 22, 2008



posted by Señor Enrique at 9:17 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we a society with a penchant for civil unrest? Are we a society that likes to destroy every institution of government because we disagree? Are we built on "all or None" to suit personal interest with disregard to common good?

It is one thing to honor the memory of the past (honorable or not) but it is another to incite trouble, rebellion and destruction. Had these gatherings not fully countered or opposed by government forces equally, another outburst of disobedience and lawlessness is in the making.

The crowd looks angry and their red banners are loud and firesome. There is passion in their faces ready to explode anytime.

Even if our democratic constitution grants us freedom of assembly, there's a fine line not to cross, from peace advocacy vs. disobedience and unlawful disconduct to law enforcers and the innocent public. Our society seems infantile,"give what I want or I'll make your life miserable".

In a large scale of destructive protests, we have NPA, Abu Sayaff, MILF and the Opposition Political Party that is meant to destroy the Reigning party.

Same thing with Loren Legarda. Time to bow down to Noli and move on, let it be, a personal sacrifice for the general well being of the country and to the beneficiary, the ordinary people. For all we know, she's also the recipient of what whe was fighting for in the first place.

January 22, 2008 10:22 PM  

Blogger g_mirage said...

ay SenorE, this are the events that I avoid covering for the paper... =( For bolder journalists this is a go go situation. I admire your courage for going there and showing us the 'colorful' event. Hope though no one got hurt.

January 22, 2008 11:03 PM  

Blogger Panaderos said...

Great photos, Eric. I'm just glad that this protest turned out to be a peaceful one.

January 23, 2008 2:16 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

i'm afraid i dunno much about the mendiola massacre..

great captures anyhow. have you thought of submitting to newspapers and magazines?


January 23, 2008 5:11 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Wow Eric, you are getting bold and fearless! You are in the middle of the action.
Great coverage.

I am sometimes wondering if all those manifestations are helping the country to move forward.
It seems it is all about cheap politics.
I just came back from the provinces and when I see the life of the average farmer and fishermen in the countryside I can’t escape deep sadness. I feel their daily struggles, I see dilapidated houses and school buildings everywhere and I wonder what is happening to improve the lives of those people.
I visited the same places twenty years ago (yes, it was a trip down memory lane) and I was appalled to see that nothing really changed in all those years.
Manila seems to experience a kind of revival but it seems most of the countryside is being forgotten.

January 23, 2008 10:34 AM  

Anonymous kyels said...

You have the courage to cover this rally. I've never seen strikes in Malaysia before albeit there were two recent rallies; one is called Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (or 'Bersih' which means 'Clean' in Bahasa Malaysia) and Hindu Rights Association Force (HINDRAF). My idea is that if the Government has played its chess tactically by being fair towards all the races in Malaysia, such rallies wouldn't have happened in the first place. The longer unfairness is felt, the more rallies will come up because youth today have the courage to fight for what they stand for and what they believe in. Our idealism isn't the same as the Government and it wouldn't help either when they are only spoon feeding a certain 'race'.

January 23, 2008 11:31 AM  

Blogger markku said...

Hi Sir Eric, markku/rebelpixel.com here. I have a message for you but I can't recall your email. Please email me at markku(at)gmail.com. =)

Nice photos by the way. =)

January 23, 2008 5:29 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

just looking at the pictures, i was a bit out of breath---a nice contrast between the cool blues and green tones of the police's photos and the energetic poses and red flags of the militant forces. Life is a stage, as Shakespeare had written...and so it is.

There is also a phenomenon with photographers (and I can vouch for this): the absence of fear when behind his/her camera. You have seem to be everywhere during this event! If another meelee would occur, you might have been taking pictures as well!

January 23, 2008 5:58 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You're absolutely correct, Bernadette. Photojournalists somehow become adrenalin junkies. This was, technically speaking, the very first major, possibly volatile protest march I had ever covered.

I originally planned on staying put from a safe distance, but just like those drawn to the mouth of the erupting volcano, I couldn't help but get as close as I could once the marchers began to approach where the police had set up a barrier. I was consumed with the desire to cover the scene from various angles or perspectives.

However, truth be told, I also exercised judicious judgment and listened to my intuition. When gut feel suggested that there wasn't going to be any violent confrontation, I felt confident enough to even strike up brief conversations with some of the police officers and rallyists during the lulls.

I must also acknowledge that Mayor Lim's presence and dialogue with the march leaders provided a soothing effect to everyone. It was also evident from the start that the police officers from all ranks had no intention to provoke any unfortunate incident. It was an admirable show of respect for one another was what I noticed.

January 23, 2008 7:48 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Markku. Just sent you an email. Also just in case, my addy:


January 23, 2008 7:50 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That is a very sensitive issue, Kyels, that haunts America to date. France had its share of violent strife due racial and cultural issues.

Don't know I'd call my coverage borne out of courage. It felt -- and this may sound as if I'm tooting my own horn -- more like a call of duty. I truly enjoy photojournalism, Kyeks.

January 23, 2008 7:57 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks much, Sidney, but I have to admit that the situation wasn't at all as threatening. There was no jeering and disrespect between the rallyists and the law enforcement officers. It was obvious violence was not in anybody's agenda on that day. Thank God for that :)

I must also admit that I haven't done much traveling to the provinces; thus, somewhat oblivious to any changes or lack thereof in our rural areas. But I do realize that many folks are living incredibly challenging lives.

And I hope my coverage of this rally somehow help in some way of making others aware of their struggles.

January 23, 2008 8:06 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I was already living in the States when the Mendiola Massacre took place, Carla. And it was only during one of those local photography seminars I had taken when I first heard of this incident. Our photojournalism instructor was giving credit to some photographers he knows personally who were there on that fateful day.

Thanks but I think all media organizations were represented; thus, I bet everyone has great photos of this rally for their files.

January 23, 2008 8:11 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thank you Panaderos. Like you, I'm one of those grateful that it turned out to be a very peaceful march.

January 23, 2008 8:14 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thank you very much, G. Mirage!

However, as I've said, it felt more like a call of duty for me to cover this rally. I truly wanted to show on my blog what Manila has to contend with or play host to from time to time. And I'm glad there was no casualty or freak accident despite the large number of people.

January 23, 2008 8:18 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Valid points you raised, Anonymous, and thanks for sharing.

I was compelled to cover this event simply because for me it was democracy in action despite the politics or thoughts that fueled the march. My motivation was merely a desire to hone my skills as a photojournalist and provide a well-balanced coverage as it happened.

I admit that I am not articulate or knowledgeable enough with our local politics -- differences, nuances, and etc. -- to provide a smart commentary. Nonetheless, I'm grateful for the opportunity to have documented this commemoration rally.

January 23, 2008 8:27 PM  

Blogger Tina said...

one of the disadvantages of a democracy is that the minority has the say and the majority has to pay.
thanks for the update senor. btw farmers and fisherman down under are

January 24, 2008 8:56 AM  

Blogger luna miranda said...

I’m sure there was a collective sigh of relief that there was no violence during the Mendiola Massacre rally. I guess people who join this type of rally have realized that life’s too precious. Landless and still poor, the families of farmers who died at Mendiola and every Filipino don’t need more bloodshed to prove a point.

Thank you, Eric, for sharing these photos. I salute your courage.

January 24, 2008 2:41 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Lots of truth there, Tina. Same thing happens in America.

Thank God there are other countries such as Australia that appreciate the folks behind their food supply.

January 24, 2008 3:10 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Luna!

Somehow, when Police Chief Barias and Mayor Lim showed up, both the anti-riot force and rallyists were convinced that no one wanted another senseless and bloody confrontation. So by 2pm, it was clear that no one was in any combative mood. Thank God, indeed!

January 24, 2008 3:15 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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